Originally written November 29, 2016
I spent November 9th in a numb haze, shocked that we had elected a fascist as president. A man who has openly mocked disabled people, admitted to sexual assault, objectified women, abused his partners, and encouraged institutional and internalized racism. A person that has said my family, like other Muslim families, should be under suspicion and aren't welcome in this country.
Let me be clear: I was never really "with her." Hillary Clinton represents the establishment that has failed people of color, people with disabilities, poor people, queer people. Hillary Clinton represents how the Democrats have failed to be progressive. As Secretary of State, she encouraged the violence in the Middle East instead of staying out of it.
But you know what? Especially after the DNC, Hillary gave face time to issues that I care about. She had a comprehensive autism and mental health plan. She talked about institutional racism (albeit ignored mass incarceration). She remained calm and composed during the debates, and didn't react with angry tweets at everything. And if anyone was qualified, it was her. So when I very reluctantly casted my vote for her, it was because I was voting in Wisconsin and I wanted a future where my brother would be safe. Hillary Clinton was not the long-term answer, but the alternative was so much worse.
But because of the Electoral College, US voters decided that Hillary's emails, her decades of dislikability, her work during the Obama administration, her defense of her husband's actions, and her representation of the Democratic establishment were worse than his racism, bigotry, misogyny, fascism.
I'm loathed to write his name. It makes me sick.
I understand that we had shit choices. I really do understand that many voters decided not to vote because of it, or decided to take a chance on the devil we didn't know instead of the devil we did. For some people, Hillary's lies to the FBI were worse than perpetuating the bigoted beliefs that the US has held actively, systemically, administratively, and, until lately, somewhat quietly.
Being able to put aside attacks on another's identities is the definition of privilege.
Day 1 of Trump's America included swastikas, Make America White Again signs, yanking off hijabs, and n-words.
In the ten days after the election, there were anywhere from 300 to 700 reported hate crimes. This is higher than post 9/11. Now, that number has reached almost 900. The KKK is literally throwing a party.
At this point, I'm no longer angry with his supporters. I find that to be a moot point. I'm not rallying around the cry that we need to make Hillary the president, that the Electoral College should have cast their vote for her instead. (I am, however, in favor of getting rid of the Electoral College, or at least seriously reforming it. It was not made with the everyday voter in mind.)
Removing Trump from office means that Pence would take over. Trump has said things, but Pence has actually done them. That means Pence will make Trump keep his campaign promises.
What is the solution? Right now, the only thing I can think of is to raise people's voices. To get enough calls to Congress for the Senate and House, even controlled by Republicans, to stop Trump like they have Obama at every turn. I'm hoping that people who voted for Trump see what's happened since the election and make a choice.
We deserve equal rights.
So if Hillary broke the law by lying to the FBI--if Hillary is "crooked," and should be in jail, and shouldn't have been allowed to run for president because of it--what about Trump? He only recently settled in the case for Trump University. The Russian government was on his side. He admitted on national television that he has not paid taxes.
All of these are illegal. By the same standards, he should have been removed, too.
I will never understand how self-professed religious people, mostly Christians, were okay voting for him. Because no matter what your stance on Hillary, you threw your vote behind a man who is literally against everything Jesus believed.
Here are two examples.
Jesus said blessed are the poor.
- Trump cares about tax breaks for the wealthiest echelon of society, and trickle-down economics does not work. His decisions to have Tom Price as the head of the HHS means that poor Americans stand the lose the most. In Mississippi, at least, the people who are on food stamps are predominantly white, and I'm guessing there are similar trends around the country.
- Jobs will never come back to the blue collar worker, because there will always be someone with more qualifications, who is younger, who is fresh out of college. Even if, in a miraculous universe, coal mining picked back up, those jobs would go to mine engineers. Those jobs would go to geologists. Those jobs will go to the scientists to create a robot to replace laborers. Those jobs will never return to the uneducated folks that once had them.
Jesus said love your neighbor.
- Trump began his campaign, early on, calling for a wall on Mexico, a way to cease immigration into this country through extra-legal means.
- He has said he will turn back Syrian refugees because of the possibility of them being terrorists.
Jesus said to be humble, to repent for your sins, to be merciful.
- Do I really need to put more links here?
In case you were wondering, 58% of the people who voted for him were white and 49% were college educated. Out of the people who voted for him, 42% were women. These stats disappoint me deeply, although I'm not surprised.
I may not agree with deciding not to vote, but I do understand the gesture behind the act. Rather than saying I don't care what happens, I think it's a gesture of I care so deeply about what happens that I can't bring myself to vote for the available options. (This is, of course, ignoring the individuals who cannot vote because of various bullshit reasons--incarceration still means you are a citizen; not having a state ID doesn't mean you're not a citizen; WHY ARE THE VOTING BOOTHS NOT EASIER TO USE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES?)
Marginalized people do the labor of progressive movements, and for once, we wanted some of the mainstream to pick it up. The mainstream failed us, again.
Call your senators. Call your representatives. Ask them to oppose Steve Bannon's appointment. Ask them to consider changes to the ACA instead of repealing, causing disabled Americans to lose their only access to insurance. While you're at it, ask them to support Federal Tribal Lands at Standing Rock, protecting both water and sacred lands--this issue still isn't over.
You don't have to be a progressive to see what the next four years would look like if we don't fight now.
This post was originally featured in a Tuesday Telegram. Every Tuesday, I send out a message that may or may not later be turned into an edited blog post.
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